Chris Brogan recently completed a sponsored blog post for Kmart. Take a look at the post at Dad-O-Matic
I admire Chris Brogan and follow him actively on Twitter and his blog. He is generous and helpful to everyone…and religiously follows the Twitter ethic of “I won’t spam you but I’ll help you out.” He’s smart, honest, and spends tremendous time to help people.
But, I think he’s taken a misstep here. Hang in there. This isn't an attack on Chris, but a suggestion for everyone (Chris-style) of how to approach paid blog posts.
A respected brand is a precious thing, and Chris is a very respected (and valuable) brand in the social media universe. Is this withdrawal from the brand bank worth it? Well he’s commented that this is an "experiment" in monetizing social media. He has every right to trial ideas. But was the "experiment" with the right client in the right environment…I don”t think so. Usually celebrity spokespeople (and that’s what we have here) should, ideally, be expert in the field. Here that field is evaluating retail store offers. Is Chris really qualified? Or is being a parent enough?
My problem is in the Kmart piece he seems to have lost his voice. The smart, considered Chris Brogan is struggling to find a voice to match the assignment. Too much shilling–not enough of the very smart, helpful objectivity I’m used to. Ironically, he’s out of his domain.
Does Chris ever write/blog from Starbucks? I'd love to see a sponsored blog post about that. Less forced. A more natural relationship. Lots of chances for fun. And a view of what he likes to order...and what he doesn't. Realistic. Fun. Likely effective.
A better--more believable story. Better marketing, in my opinion.
Here's an ideal example of sponsorship working well (albeit at a high level). I’d look to U2’s Vertigo TV spot for Apple itunes. U2 adamantly refuses to do spots to protect their very carefully crafted brand. But iTunes was a perfect opportunity. Tie into a very cool custom product (and a pre-loaded U2 black iPod). And then just perform Vertigo beautifully shot and produced as an association with itunes. Great promo for both brands. You don't have to be U2 to follow the model.
Chris…you deserve much, much better. Try it again. Choose a better sponsor. I have some thoughts. Tweet me up @scottlackey.
I'm expecting controversy. Let me know what you think. I answer all comments unless they're links to "How to Become and Internet Millionaire in 7 Days". Thanks for stopping by. Happy Holidays.
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